BY ELEANOR HARRIS '20
The Class Board of 2018 presented “Mary Potter,” this year’s iteration of the annual Junior Show, on Feb. 17 and Feb. 18. The 2-hour show was a twist on the Harry Potter series — specifically, a raucous, feminist reinterpretation of the Goblet of Fire’s Triwizard Tournament.
Mary Potter, played by Martha King-Devine ’18, is an overachieving and chronically shy Mount Holyoke student, trying to live up to the impressive legacies of her grandfather, Harry Potter, and her namesake, Mary Lyon. After a friend secretly nominates Mary for the tournament, she is thrown into a competition against students from each of the Five Colleges. The challenges range from concocting potions to solving riddles to just staying awake (for the Hampshire student, at least). In the end, Mary overcomes sleep deprivation, low self-confidence and the other champions’ schemes to win the tournament.
The final dance scene, which used a mashup of Adele’s “Hello” and Beyoncé’s “Formation,” was an excellent comment on the recent Grammy snub and a highlight of the show, along with professor Timothy Farnham’s cameo as Mary’s father and the Clapp sloth’s self-proclaimed role of “making sure that the administration moves slowly.”
While the Friday show stuck to the 60-page script, the Saturday production fulfilled the annual J-show tradition of, as Katie Armstrong ’19 put it, “senior infiltration.” That night, members of the class of 2017 blared music, rode scooters across the stage and caused general havoc throughout the show. Armstrong, who attended both performances, enjoyed the seniors’ wild contributions. “It’s really funny to have the added extras,” she said.
The cast also gave a performance exclusively for Mount Holyoke staff on Thursday night. “Historically, the junior class board invited faculty and staff to J-Show’s dress rehearsal. We decided to bring that tradition back,” Aayushi Mishra ’17 said. A small group of staff attended and laughed audibly at the one “that’s what she said” joke.
Most of the show’s jokes relied on stereotypes about students in the Five College Consortium. “People like to make fun of the Five College stereotypes because there are very distinct ones, and most of the time they turn out to be true,” said Mishra, who wrote and directed the show. Among other jabs, the show’s Amherst champion bore a striking similarity to Draco Malfoy (“My father will hear about this!”) and the Hampshire student’s favorite subject is, of course, herbology.
The production has been in the works since the fall semester when the junior class chose “Mary Potter” by voting on a list of potential themes. “People really connect with Harry Potter, because most of us grew up reading the books,” Mishra said.
“When I saw it was going to be Harry Potter themed, I had to get involved,” King-Devine said. “I have a pretty embarrassing obsession with all things magic.”
Tickets were free for juniors and cost $3 for everyone else. The proceeds from ticket and t-shirt sales went to the 2018 class board.
“We have some friends in the show, [and] it’s really fun seeing them like this,” said Zoe Zelkowitz ’19. “We’re sophomores so we’re excited to be in J-Show next year.”